Cholera Outbreak: Water Ministry Dispatches Experts To Hotspot Areas

By Sunday Etuka, Abuja

In response to the reported outbreak of cholera in the country, the Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation has dispatched a team from the National Water Quality Reference Laboratories in Lagos, Enugu, and Sokoto to collect water samples and investigate the presence of the causative organism (Vibrio cholerae) in the hotspot areas.

The Ministry in a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Shehu Aliyu Shinkafi noted that the current outbreak which has resulted in the death of 30 persons attests to the severity of the situation.

It therefore, urged all Nigerians to remain vigilant and take precautions to protect themselves and their families from the infection through the following measures:

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“Boil or treat drinking water before consumption. Wash your hands with soap under running and clean water regularly, especially before eating and after using the toilet.

“Wash fruits and vegetables with safe water and salt before eating. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any symptoms of cholera, such as vomiting, profuse dehydration, and diarrhoea (rice water stools)”, it said.

While commiserating with the families of the deceased and their loved ones, the Ministry through the WASH in Emergency Technical Working Group (WiETWG), is urgently reaching out to States’ Technical Working Groups and the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agencies (RUWASSAs), where applicable, to holistically address the outbreak.

It said, “prior to the outbreak, the National WASH in Emergency Technical Working Group had trained the States’ working groups on preparedness, prevention, and response mechanisms, as well as on hygiene promotion and water safety planning approaches to prevent and respond to cholera outbreaks.

“Expectedly, these states have intensified similar sensitization efforts in their respective communities to reduce the number of cholera cases. They are also promoting the campaign against open defecation, which is a means of transmitting this deadly disease”, the Ministry said.

It explained that cholera is a waterborne disease that spreads rapidly, adding the primary mode of transmission is through the ingestion of contaminated water or food.

The symptoms of cholera, according to the Ministry, include vomiting, profuse dehydration, and diarrhea (rice water stools), which can lead to death if not properly treated.

The Ministry promised to provide updates as received from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and its response efforts as the situation evolves.

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